Heidi Drygas, Commissioner
Commissioner Heidi Drygas was appointed to lead the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development by Governor Bill Walker on December 19, 2014. As Commissioner, she has focused on strengthening Alaska’s middle class by expanding training opportunities through Registered Apprenticeship and by enforcing Alaska’s labor laws.
Prior to being named commissioner, Drygas spent nearly a decade as General Counsel to the Alaska District Council of Laborers, where she worked to support Alaska workers in the fields of construction, oil and gas support services, transportation, health care, and public service. Prior to working for the Laborers, Drygas worked as an associate at Guess & Rudd, an Anchorage law firm with practice areas in natural resource, administrative, property, commercial, and insurance law.
Drygas is a lifelong Alaskan who was born and raised in Fairbanks. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and a Juris Doctor from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. She lives in Juneau and enjoys cooking, fishing, foraging, camping in Alaska’s wilderness, and spending quality time with her family and friends.
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Greg Cashen, Deputy Commissioner
Greg Cashen was appointed deputy commissioner on January 15, 2015. Cashen, a lifelong Alaskan, most recently served as administrative services director for the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation.
Before joining AGDC, Cashen spent nearly eight years with the Alaska Department of Labor, including serving as assistant commissioner under the leadership of Commissioner Click Bishop.
Cashen also served as executive director of the Alaska Workforce Investment Board, the 26-member board that provides policy oversight of state and federally funded job training and vocational education programs.
Cashen graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University.
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Joe Thomas, Deputy Commissioner
Joe Thomas was appointed deputy commissioner on January 15, 2015. Thomas served as a member of the Alaska Senate from 2007 to 2013. In that capacity, he served as co-chair of the Education Committee, on the Finance Committee and as chair of the Finance Subcommittee on Labor and Workforce Development.
Thomas began his career working as a general laborer out of Laborers’ Local 942 in Fairbanks, where he later served as a business agent and as business manager/secretary-treasurer for 23 years. He was a longtime trustee on the Alaska Laborers’ Health and Security Fund.
Thomas’ extensive public service includes leadership positions on the Alaska Workers Compensation Board, Resource Development Council of Alaska, Alaska AFL-CIO, Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation and the University of Alaska Board of Regents.
Thomas, born and raised in Fairbanks, graduated from Lathrop High School and earned his bachelor's degree from West Virginia University.
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